CAL loses millions due to flight disruptions; saddened by the “critical situation”

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CAL loses millions due to flight disruptions; saddened by the “critical situation”

According to reports, an estimated $15 million was lost by Caribbean Airlines during the two-day flight disruption of its operations over the weekend.

This as a result of chartering additional aircraft, accommodations, compensation and meals to hundreds of stranded passengers. Not to mention the legal fees as they sought an emergency injunction.

The airline said it’s a “shame” that 60 domestic and international flights had to be cancelled during a busy travel period.

In a statement yesterday evening, the airline apologised to thousands of passengers stranded throughout the Caribbean and in T&T and put the blame on its pilots.

CAL said the disruptions were caused “by a high volume of sick calls (93) from pilots” prior to them having to report for duty for their respective flights.

“The unavailability of these pilots, combined with the short notice, made it impossible to recover,” the company said.

CAL said in response to this “critical situation”, the airline immediately wet-leased two aircraft, obtained accommodation for stranded passengers and took legal advice.

CAL noted that it was granted an injunction from the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago against the Trinidad and Tobago Airline Pilots’ Association (TTALPA) to bring a stop to the disruption early yesterday morning.

CAL said it is very saddened by these developments.

“Over the years, we have been witnessing with great pride the significant strides the airline has made, thanks in no small part to the unwavering support of the taxpayers of Trinidad and Tobago. This support has enabled us to enhance our services, expand our route network, and continually improve the travel experience for our valued customers,” the airline said.

“The events over the past few days have put a significant damper on what have been very positive developments for Caribbean Airlines, and that is a shame.”

CAL said the rest of its team—ground staff, front-end personnel, cabin crew, reservations call centres, maintenance, and management—were as per usual fully prepared to ensure the smooth functioning of its flights.

“Despite our meticulous planning and state of readiness, we could not have anticipated or adequately prepared for these unfortunate events. We thank the entire team for their continued commitment during what was a very difficult period,” it said.

“We deeply regret the distress caused by these disruptions, which were beyond our control, and the subsequent impact on your very important travel plans. We accept that this is a significant setback in our relationship with you. However, we are resolute in our commitment to restoring the trust and affection upon which this most valuable relationship is based, and in so doing, ensure that your future travel experiences are as smooth and pleasant as you rightfully expect.”